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tv   Inside Story 2017 Ep 295  Al Jazeera  October 24, 2017 3:32am-4:01am AST

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visit to iraq after a quick stop in afghanistan rex tillerson met the rocks prime minister and president but he's provoked a potential rift with the leaders after calling for iranian backed militias in iraq to end their operations details that are emerging of what's being called massacre in the syrian town of attain witnesses say i saw fighters killed more than one hundred people before government forces seized the town and today accused the civilians of collaborating with syrian forces the sentencing of two white farmers in south africa who forced a black man into a coffin has been delayed until friday i suspect to burn victim lots while alive they were found guilty of attempted murder in august aside the court has cleared a construction company over a crane collapse that killed at least one hundred ten people in mecca in two hundred fifteen it ruled the bin laden group didn't need to compensate the victims or pay for damages to the grand mosque as the disaster wasn't caused by human error
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the firm is run by the family of the late al qaida leader osama bin laden human rights groups are denouncing an official visit to france by egypt's president they say france should not support president of the politically or sell weapons to egypt activists say torture repression and unfair trials are common and those are the headlines the news continues here on al-jazeera after inside story of. a political gamble that paid off. and the prime minister is not eyeing a revision of the country's pacifist constitution what would that mean for japan and this volatile.
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and welcome to the program i'm jane dothan japan's prime minister took a gamble when he called early elections this year but that gamble paid off on sunday when. party and coalition partner won more than two thirds of the seats in parliament he says it's a vote of confidence from the public one he sees as a green light to change japan's pacifist constitution obvious particularly keen on the move given the threat posed by nearby north korea but what would a stronger japanese military mean for the region we get so i guess in just a moment but first so has this report from tokyo. it was the election result she had hoped for his liberal democratic party and coalition partner won three
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hundred twelve of the four hundred sixty five seats delivering him a two thirds majority in parliament. north korea played a central role in his campaign and by wants to strengthen diplomatic channels pledging greater international cooperation can back sort of we will conduct strong diplomacy as tensions over north korea are increasing on the fifth of next month president trump is scheduled to visit japan kindly called me by phone already today and when he visits we will spend time discussing the issues of north korea and aim to confirm our close alliance voters weren't just focused on north korea in this election but some felt opposition parties felt to provide them with an alternative agenda. that was worth voting for. position parties need to become stronger and the result reflected many people's wish to see that happen they mean. instead of supporting the liberal democratic party actively i think voters didn't have any choice. the newly formed party of hope which many considered was the major threat
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didn't get as many seats as expected the other new party on the block the constitutional democratic party has become the main opposition tripling the number of seats in the lower house but i will say this election victory as a strong mandate to deliver on his reform agenda and act on his lifelong mission to revise japan's pacifist constitution and give the country's self-defense forces a more active role but the issue is controversial and voters are divided on a constitutional challenge with the escalating nuclear threat from north korea will be hoping it's enough to convince voters to back its campaign to allow japan's military to respond to direct threats but any change to the constitution requires approval first by two thirds of both the upper and lower house and then a public referendum sarah clarke al-jazeera tokyo.
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let's get the thoughts of our guests now joining us in singapore qatada tamora he is an asia fellow for the motion it's a church and former japanese senator in washington d.c. richard vice director of the center for political military analysis at the hudson institute and in nice alessio but the llano he's a senior lecturer in department of war studies a king's college london he is also the author of post-war japan as a sea power very warm welcome to all of you could turn to tamara why do you think of a one so are moments. like to change of course to japan so he would like to play a big a lot of our it was what is visionary in asia you know to do that again and stability which. in a sense contrary. lost because of the korean peninsula and the lies of china
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and productivity happening in the u.s. politics. alysia the law no what is you your view about what happened did typhoon land people people away or did north korea drive them to the polls. well these early delights. charlotte she presented itself is an ideal call for drug use robin long to call the snap election but also to provide a platform so easy message to just kind of course stronger as those of these opponents assume that saying. the security lens is gay and the progressive to tell you ration well nusi seizure context. ideal conditions or so brian was. to do jack to sell and still. would probably be the ideal person to do the current situation which advice is he seen from there as
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they ideal person to do with a concentration. yes in the sense that he at least from the white house is probably present trumps one of his closest foreign allies i think i couple other factors that helped contribute to the victory independent of relations with the us or korea i think of the structural factors the japanese like the british and the americans have are a first past the post system so in this case i'm on the part of opposition parties who are divided and weak in amplifies the electoral victory since you just need a majority in each electoral district to win i think the true test of popularity will come of the plan if he goes ahead with his proposal to try and change the constitution because i think that will test the strength of his coalition and he'll need a popular mentor to approve it you touch on a key word the constitution changing it and i'm just wondering how big a thing the title it is for people there as it is for the rest of the world to the
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constitution changing this pacifist constitution what role did it play do you think in these elections. so germany's constitution it's very hard to amend through. super majority is needed in both houses and the simple majority needed for the league for that and so. many super politicians try to make it happen in the last seventy years but nobody maybe but interestingly the league and a super majority again they're lower house and although he has incoming a house election two years so far. he has a super majority in both houses but as somebody mentioned general public sentiment to what amendment is not a lady yet i think so it's still a long shot he needs more work needs to come because general public that
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you know due to north korea you know issues. general public sentiment is. gradually and this time the japan has to do more for its own defense. not japan's pacifist constitution was drafted by the us off to world war two but what exactly does it mean the relevant court kill was here is known as article nine it calls for complete renunciation of war literally that means japan shouldn't have any armed forces but it does successive governments have interpreted the constitution to allow a self-defense military has pushed for an even broader interpretation he passed a law two years ago that authorizes overseas military missions for quote collective self defense alongside japan's allies he's also pushed to change the constitution to further legitimize the military but that can only happen after
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a referendum and the people aren't necessarily on board recent polls show they are split on changing the charter richard. it's going to be a complicated matter i mean with the aging population we're not going to suddenly see old woman on the front line in afghanistan in the next couple of weeks for example what sort of conversation would the u.s. like to see happening before we see any changes. as your package pointed out there have been a series of changes that have taken place within the sistine constitution through interpretation and changes in executive paul sleep plus laws passed by the parliament that have already enhanced the japanese were all in self defense in partnership with the u.s. in contributing international security but the thinking is there are still a few more steps would like to see at least in u.s. national security community not only are we difficult dealing with difficult
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challenges from north korea but there's also challenges from china and russia and transnational challenges such as migration or terrorism and so on so we'd still like to see a little more cooperation perhaps and missile defense perhaps in showing operations and third countries and so on. and that though is a challenge and so we've both governments i think are prepared if this is not possible to continue to expand their cooperation even short of an amendment. japan i mean you've written about it as a sea power pretty familiar bill does it need to beef up its defenses does it need to get with the times is this a christmas stick and therefore time for a change. no interviews and accuracy i don't have to make believe there are pointed out the constitution does not say that a ban to not possess the sources the constitution rejects the use of force as
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a means of states to solve international disputes and to that extent it's of months a military barracks or waging war these are two very different things with the with this with this preliminary consideration done well in japan already possesses a considerable amount of military planning but this one is very much design around the importance of those. components of the us japan alliance atlantic contribution to. japanese national defense and security so within this context i think that the initiatives that have been taking plays over the last few years and the happen at celebrated were that this security legislations as they were asking did arsenic to fifteen they are about the power of japanese governments to have a more relevant use of their capabilities at their disposal in order to meet
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the security challenges that surround to japan not just in very difficult crisis time which was the set up during the cold war but the dream of the ministry of defense corps as the great so synonymous that is peacetime relatively complex security it's a matter of us as it would be a situation of the missile crisis and north korea are all as it's been in recent times although the greater military assertiveness conducted by china in the sea of japan in the east china sea so we're talking about an hour in the states rather then the n.t. changing your military posture qatar you want to say something. so don't forget that you know we're aging and shrinking population so we are spending only one percent of what the fans we have spent one percent of the g.d.p. on though they danced twenty five percent of our g.d.p.
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invested into social security not the national security so we lost thirty million people in the last war but this things continue shrinking and ageing population we're losing fifteen million population in this in this century so you know japan can be when we are not a lot i mean you would end in a way that's almost a greater weight isn't it i mean that's a real internal threat to the country the economy. yeah so our biggest challenge is a population so private is the obvious at the earliest this is not the middle east he's not polite when he's a realist i used to be you going to give them an advisor to him so you know. conversation i mean that means nothing about it to open cess to play a big oh so he would choose to not only building a more the best but also kolob a lesson with china more engagement with ozzy and putting india as
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a counterbalance so i think that's about all the other things going to happen in the region now was prime minister for just one year in two thousand and six but since being reelected in two thousand and twelve he's had a lot of political success and that's largely attributed to his economic policy known as a nomics it's helped japan tended stagnant economy around after two decades of deflation the policy consists of three so-called arrows the first is printing more money to trigger a little bit of much needed inflation and make japanese exports more attractive to foreign markets the second arrow is new government spending programs to encourage consumers to buy and the third is reforming corporate regulations to make japanese businesses more competitive that included making it easier for companies to hire and fire workers two years ago the prime minister announced economics two point zero aimed at reversing the country's demographic decline by boosting the birth rate and expanding social security do you think that'll work alessio. i think it
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will however we need to be careful and i think it. was very important in this respect even if you have a reverse of the current situation in terms of birth rates instead of the lies in the decline of the population that does not automatically translate into people joining after magically more the military but in this way what about a few years we're seeing a number of crisis coming japan's way and that has not changed the recruitment dangers for the self-defense forces which means that the japanese society wasn't that in the stands much better the importance of the self-defense of all the forces of the ruled and society that doesn't necessarily mean that they're going to rush to join their runs in order to convert just and security in the point of the bad the normal and the broader the forms are about combining the greater economic diplomatic and also military means is tools of state brought in order to increase
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the stability of the japanese the security surrounding and the world japan's ians so we're having a look at the military the constitution richard this agent population the u.s. withdrawing from the transpacific partnership is that going to aid or hinder japan in succeeding in conquering those goals getting to those goals. well right the japanese government is still committed to the t p p where as the trump administration at most would be considered a bilateral trade partnership and i think this could be a divisive issue when they meet next month as you know president trump is going to visit several asian countries and of amber including japan and i think that the japanese still would like the u.s. to return to the t p p but it would have to be after a post trumpet ministrations may decide just to postpone this issue in terms of how
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it helps the economy it's going to help obviously some sectors and the japanese economy and hurt others and what that's a very delicate political issue that we also facing united states and other countries could top how much does he have to deal i mean obviously the economy it's always an important factor regardless of where you are but to push the constitutional change in the constitution through how important is it in dealing with the economy at the same time because not everybody's on board we've seen protests in the past many people feel that i mean that the psychological impact of changing the constitution is big. he has made a point so in order to get a majority in the legal and then we have to. make them make general public happy so happy means and they going to happy so not right now amazingly japanese process going economy among g seven so sucks to the abbott who makes under some student
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stock price. you know going up fifteen days in a law that's never happened in the japanese stock market history so vote that's pushed me to stop as lance tried to win this time so. you know in order to count to aging and a shrinking population we have to deal with that and you know that to secure national security we have to deal with china so china japan more economic club election listen to the prime minister the first time mentioned he would like to cope light to the bomb belt lump bomb lot and already so many japanese manufacturing companies are tightening how these into that we're not initiated by the chinese so. i'm going to stop it with a possum legalising cut geno building a huge into a village wrote. implemented it also that is for chinese where people base think it's one of the biggest achievements are you saying i can just jump in here and
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then you know just like his father is being very good at staying nationalistic pride and that's obviously very important. so it was so good yes so funny. it is a lightweight you mentioned you know but he tried to make it happen but. he's now a listening to out to the other list realistic you know where we're thinking so china is much bigger than us china is seemingly unstoppable but china also needs our help our cooperation so obviously it is gradually you know trying to be more called the china and the china has a pain in the neck north korea and we share the same program so we start talking after time visit i mean it sounds planning to have a summit meeting with chinese leader for the past i mean several years not in the national league not one by one face to face so that you know it's a real face it's not the country abroad not anymore it's not convincing general
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public we have to deal with china in different way the olympic way although we compete in a sense but we have to collaborate so that's the way it would do from now richard how three do you see japan at the moment i mean how secure or insecurity is it in light of regional developments when it comes to its relationship with china and south korea and the ripple effects of possibly changing the constitution how that will play into it. right that's it's an interesting dynamic and so the main threat that japan is facing is the near term north korea long term china and the russia threat is the legacy of the cold war and how that ended it still persists but it's declining and the thinking is that abbay was going to try and reach a deal with russia in order to reduce the number of potential challenges him it
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brings in maybe some kind of deal over the stupid islands and that would allow both countries to focus a bit more on the rise of china the constitutional reform though it's tricky it's something the u.s. wants but it's certainly going to alarm the chinese and you mention the south koreans they're not enthusiastic about this and then the north koreans and either but in a way it's i mean it's these countries already have their their views of abbaye and not sure they would he would lose much by pushing for the reform but i think that the key question is what's going to happen on the russia front is the trump administrator how might the obama straighten as not opposes reconciliation so be interesting to see how that evolves what do you make of that how do you think that relationship is going to vote and do you see japan looking for new allies in the
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region. so then me to the question in reverse is japan looking smaller partners that causes invade them and say that the great this revolution has been brought about by the t.v. the the second hour and it is traditional what could stretch back and see the seeds of these already being planted in the first administration is the ability for japan as a security provider to start looking at other partners in addition to the united states we can look out there. and the credible sort of amanda of progress there india even south korea should not forget that there has been some reports and improvements of particularly on the security side notwithstanding some of the shock us on the road between the two country but well beyond it also reaching out to international organizations like nato they do developing working very closely in combat. operations in the indian ocean in the gulf bay then and with countries like
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france and the u.k. where the defendant security corp has been substantially upgraded so this is all part of a widening at the end of the demand that is trying to be much more and bedded within the international community in order to tackle transnational planted issues as it could have been the candid paris effect immediate ocean but also to try to get attention other actors towards east asian security challenges in this respect i think also a claim is that there has a personal sort of investment in trying to make the relationship with russia were a bit far the result as head of the mix there but in the other hand president putin has very little incentive to increase the relationship with japan but take you live in a context where but i do plan is been outside of the context of major european powers one of them a sort of implementors. so it was
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a very difficult position to join to keep up the pace with the position of others the bounds and this was the scenes on a difficult relationship with russia richard any idea what donald trump is going to be saying to abby when they meet up in ten days time what's the conversation there's it's clear they're going to talk about north korea as i think they did when trump congratulated banas phone call they probably will talk about china since their relationship with both countries as the influx they may talk about russia for the reasons we went into if they talk about trade i'm not sure what kind of progress will cease i think the public wants but statements the public declarations are going to emphasize security partnership the looking forward the close relationship between two countries as a traditional in a case well gentlemen thank you very much for talking us through what potentially could be a very different japan in the future big thanks to i guess qatar to rich advice and
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lisieux patel on thank you too for watching you can see the program again any time by visiting our website al-jazeera dot com for further discussion you can go to our facebook page at facebook dot com ford slash a.j. inside story you can also join the conversation on twitter handle is at a.j. inside story or me jane doesn't wrestle teens but thanks for watching.
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